Handelsblatt Exclusive

E.U. Budget Commissioner: Germany Will Have to Pay More after Brexit

Picture source: DPA

Günther Oettinger, the European budget commissioner, said in an interview that net contributors to the E.U. budget, such as Germany, will have to pay more after Britain leaves the European Union.

Mr. Oettinger told Handelsblatt that Brussels will not be able to compensate for Britain’s €9 billion ($9.5 billion) annual contribution to the E.U. budget through savings alone.

“The other net contributors will have to pay more,” Mr. Oettinger said.

As revenues decline due to Brexit, Brussels plans to increase humanitarian and security spending to deal with the refugee crisis and terrorism, Mr. Oettinger said. This would leave the European Union with a gap in its overall budget, he added.

“We will need additional financial means for these new tasks,” Mr. Oettinger said. “We anticipate an annual figure in the single digit billion range at least.”

To plug the budget gap, the budget commissioner proposed transferring proceeds to Brussels from the sale of carbon dioxide certificates or shifting revenue from fuel taxes, one or two cents per liter. The European Union would also have to consider slashing agriculture subsidies, he said.

“We will have to discuss a reorientation and cuts to some programs because we are facing new challenges,” Mr. Oettinger said.


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